Dolphins’ Tagovailoa is a playful, prepared backup — for now

MIAMI Tua Tagovailoa was simple to establish Thursday despite the fact that he wore teammate Ryan Fitzpatrick’s jersey and a masks to his first media session of coaching camp.

The masks was protecting, and in a means the jersey was, too. Tagovailoa is pleased to maintain a low profile befitting his rookie standing, despite the fact that he’s extensively hailed because the Miami Dolphins’ future franchise quarterback.

A former star at Alabama, Tagovailoa is aware of how you can cope with the strain of nice expectations.

I believe one of the simplest ways to deal with it’s actually not take note of it, he stated.

But Tagovailoa might be tough to miss as a result of he’s stuffed with potential and character. The latter was evident when he stepped in entrance of a media Zoom digicam sporting Fitzpatrick’s No. 14, reasonably than his personal No. 1.

I believed I may break ice making you guys snort, Tagovailoa stated with a smile.

The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick is the staff’s 2019 most precious participant and the probably starter within the season opener at New England a month from Thursday, as a result of the Dolphins have good motive to transition fastidiously to Tagovailoa.

There are lingering questions in regards to the career-threatening hip damage that ended his Alabama profession in November, and Tagovailoa himself wonders how nicely he’ll maintain up when tackling begins. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic slowed the event of all rookies by wiping out NFL offseason packages.

Tua goes to develop shortly or slowly, relying upon how a lot he grasps the offense, how shortly he comes alongside and the way he develops, new Miami offensive coordinator Chan Gailey stated. “A variety of thats primarily based on well being. Well deal with him identical to we deal with everyone else, and nicely attempt to put him ready to achieve success when the time comes.

Tagovailoa has repeatedly stated his focus is on studying the Dolphins’ playbook and constructing relationships, not on how lengthy he’s Fitzpatrick’s understudy.

They’re going to place the staff in one of the best place potential, Tagovailoa stated. If thats me supporting somebody, thats what it’s going to be.

As as to whether his surgically repaired hip will maintain as much as contact, Tagovailoa conceded doubts might be there till he begins to play and perhaps longer.

To reply that query truthfully, you simply by no means know till it truly occurs, he stated. “I received’t know the sensation till I do get tackled. Its that trial-and-error factor. Youve bought to exit and do it to know whether or not it does harm or it doesnt.

As far as how I really feel proper now, all the things goes nicely.

That’s what the Dolphins wish to hear. They took Tagovailoa with the No. 5 general draft choose, the very best theyve used on a quarterback since choosing future Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese in 1967.

So Tagovailoa’s not more likely to stay No. 2 to Fitzpatrick for too lengthy. In the meantime, the rookie and veteran have bonded, with Fitzpatrick a father of seven embracing the function of mentor to his eventual substitute.

I bought to satisfy his household two days in the past, Tagovailoa stated. It was fairly humorous. We had been on FaceTime. Everyone is scattered round the home, and he introduces me to his children after which his spouse. He’s like, This is everybody, that is my household. Lo and behold, he forgets two of them.

Fitzpatrick may lose monitor of his personal children, however there’s no overlooking Tagovailoa, the backup quarterback for now and maybe the face of the franchise for years to come back.

NOTES: The Dolphins will put on a jersey patch this season to commemorate Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, who died in May. The patch will characteristic Shulas identify and 347 to indicate his profession victory complete, an NFL report.


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